Throw me Thursday: Whiskey-Money-Doll

@karriehiggins (Karrie’s blog) took a play on words from a conversation we’d been having about an old Twilight Zone episode that still haunts me from way back, Talking Tina. Karrie said, “@EVictoriaF Keep “whiskey money doll” in mind for your #throwme on Thursday because that seriously kind of rocks.” And “@EVictoriaF whiskey, money, doll / whiskey money, doll / whiskey-money doll / whiskey money-doll / #throwme”

I see the appeal, but I did not expect what I got.

Also, if I could before you go on–last week I forgot to give the address for Julie Jeff’s Blog. Please do stop by and chat her up. She’s a lovely woman with a lot of heart.

I can’t help but think of Dad–whiskey sour, NRA lifetime member, the original Old Spice man on a trail-riding horse singing, On Top of the World in a dusty, gravel road voice. He wore a mustache always. Now, it’s shock white.

He drove the truck down highways taking photographs of straight, tall churches on weekends when I turned fourteen. He had a dog named Butch. Remarried a good woman who smokes.

When I was a kid and believed in everything, Dad came home on his lunch breaks between jobs, Ma cooked, and I slid up on his lap waiting for him to take a quarter from my ear. We ate spinach warmed from the freezer–a great green lump thumped in a pan melting into summer lawns shaded by trees he planted years before me.

I hid cars in his boots.

Just right now, these thoughts lighten me–old memories replayed like worn vinyl records skipping popcorn skips on the B-side. I can see into the kitchen, hear water splash in the copper-bottom pan.

Later, I slept in a double bed next to Sherry. She hated how I rolled and took the covers. I sucked the index finger on my left hand. When I fell asleep, it tipped out, and I slurped. The sound drove her nuts. She wanted me to just shut up.

I didn’t know what they were, the sounds. The light was on in the hall. In the dining room, too. Doors slammed. Ma’s voice. Then Dad’s.

Louder. I took the covers. Kicked my feet. I hate wearing socks to bed, so I didn’t.

It was like somebody was having a tantrum in the house, but it wasn’t somebody, it was my parents, together, having a tantrum. I would have been sent to my room. I’d have kicked my feet on the wall hard, harder, hardest, but they’d have ignore me. They’d have waited it out. They had heard it all before. It’s called extinction.

But me, I hadn’t heard it all before. On that night, I was tiny and five years old. I got a puppy for my birthday. His name was Bear and he was a golden retriever. He was also an outside dog most of the time. We didn’t have that kid/dog relationship because he didn’t sleep on my feet. He would have been better than socks, I’m sure.

I tried not to, but I cried. I tried not to, because the night Dad came home and I was crying for Ma to let me do something and she wouldn’t, he looked at me in the eyes and said, “What are you crying for?” And I huffed, and I sobbed, and I told him with words that were hardly words at all and he said, “Well crying ain’t going to change anything. You might as well stop that.” And I tried to stop, not knowing how anybody stops crying, certain as anything that crying did fix everything.

That night, he took me with him to Walgreen’s and let me pick out a book with a soft cover in the shape of a little golden retriever puppy with its tongue hanging out. It was almost as good as Dunkin’ Donuts, but not quite.

So I tried in that bed with the covers pulled up around me and my sister lying next to me quiet as anything, I tried not to cry, but I did. I cried and my body shook. My pillow got wet with spit and tears. My feet pulled in and I shrunk down as tight as I could fit inside myself. Then Sherry rolled over and curled herself around.

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About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in coffee, Dad, divorce, father, ma, mother, red house, relationships, sister, Throw me Thursday, truth and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Throw me Thursday: Whiskey-Money-Doll

  1. Karrie says:

    LOVE “He would have been better than socks” and the soft cover book shaped liked a golden retriever puppy.

    Mostly, though, I love where those images took you. Isn’t it wonderful when the writing just goes where it wants (needs) to go–and surprises us?

    • pennyjars says:

      Karrie,

      Thanks for the crazy, goofy, fun and off the wall suggestion. I would never have guessed this is where it was going and I’m so glad for it. Slightly terrified, but glad.

  2. Julie Jeffs says:

    Absolutely lovely post, as usual. I love to sink into your words, smell the old spice and sit next to you, when you’re five or a teen or whenever. Hugs to you, sometimes, in my book, crying does fix everything. And thank you for adding the blog address, you are a doll.

    • pennyjars says:

      Julie,

      This is the strange thing–I bought a bottle of Old Spice aftershave to use as a sensory prompt and it doesn’t smell at all like I remember. I guess it isn’t mixed right with working dad sweat. Thanks for your support!

  3. kario says:

    Beautiful writing! I love a good Dad story.

  4. Jacque says:

    Mmmm…yes. So familar. So familiar it hurts. Lovely writing.

  5. Susan @ 2KoP says:

    “skipping popcorn skips on the B-side”. Half the songs I know from childhood and teen years have skips in my memory. Wonderful. You said you don’t know how to feel about this. You should feel good. It’s good work.

  6. I read this and loved it’s sad beauty… childhood pain so raw and exquisite I could feel it. I didn’t have much else to say, I just didn’t want to be a stealth reader and leave without telling you that your writing moved me.

  7. pennyjars says:

    Hi Cara,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I really means a lot.

  8. Pingback: A Box of Scent | Penny Jar

  9. Pingback: Throw me Thursday: Totems | Penny Jar

  10. Lisa says:

    Amazing entry. I LOVE your writing! I’m so excited to read more!!! This piece is delectable!

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